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A Good Customer Relationship is Built on Appreciation and Begins with "Thank You!"

Do you ever thank your customer for the sale?

The focus in virtually every small business is new customer acquisition. Every entrepreneur takes great pains to make sure that they do everything possible to close a sale and get a new customer. Yet, when the order is placed, at the very moment that the relationship begins, there's an opportunity to reinforce with a "thank you." A small gesture, yet one that starts the relationship as a two-way one and begins the foundation for a long-term one. And does your customer feel appreciated well after that sale? Appreciation is the fundamental foundation upon which entrepreneurs should build all customer relationships.

And all it involves are little things. To start with,send the new customer, a nice letter, a friendly email or even a personal call from the small business owner. Internally, a recognition and celebration of the new customer and, depending on your revenue model, an onboarding plan, not unlike that for a new employee. (Obviously, the higher your average ticket price, the more important and possible this becomes).

The entrepreneur should use every "touch point" to show the customer you care, including your packaging. Ever get a shipment from Zappo's? It has two phrases on the outside of the box - "packaged with happiness" and "charged with service." Now, that gets a small business' customer's attention!

And, of course, along the way, you provide good customer support. But, to show ongoing appreciation, your small business should implement outgoing communications from customer support - a "reach out" program to, periodically, determine, as the former mayor of New York used to ask, "how am I doing?"

Every customer should feel special, not just before, but during, after and well after the initial sale! Appreciation is the fundamental foundation upon which entrepreneurs should build all customer relationships with their small business. And it begins with "thank you!"

"The Entrepreneur's Yoda" knows these things. He's been there. May success be with you!

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